Studio Visit: Jacob Goble
Date: Tuesday, July 26th
Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Jacob Goble Studio Visit 7/26/11
Since our last studio visit with Jacob Goble over a year ago, he has continued to investigate and hone three primary trajectories:
1) A developing series of abstract linear drawings that are non-repeating permutations of an arch shape.
2) Drawings made from observation in park, museum and domestic settings executed with aesthetically varied and developed mark making.
3) Paintings informed by the drawings, photographs and the book of arches.
While each of these elements of Jacob’s total body of work is produced largely independently from one-another, there is also significant crossover between the three directions. Most commonly the observational drawings act as preliminary work to the paintings. Jacob has also incorporated arches from the books of abstract into his paintings focusing on a particular shape and adding color and brushwork. In some paintings the shape/symbol is used as an overlay on an image of a landscape, in effect, encrypting the landscape language. In other paintings the arch shape is within a wholly abstract canvas, investigations on building an image from formal elements alone.
Jacob described the way he chooses his varied images and content as allowing himself to get attached to an idea or image without committing to putting it in all his work. The group discussed the interplay between nature and artifice in Jacob’s work. There seems to be balance between invention, reference, and removal in each of Jacob’s projects. In his directly observed drawings a level of illusionistic abstraction through mark making is apparent. In some paintings Jacob has combined observed landscape with invented elements and color schemes. In his paintings that are made using observed source material, surface details and foreground/background distinctions pull against the illusion of the image depicted. In the abstract arch books there too seems to be an embrace of a fluid evolution of form.
Perhaps on account of its scale, color palette and graphic presentation, one painting accrued more discussion than the others. The largest canvas in the studio depicted a nearly life size depiction of the Wheel of Fortune wheel positioned as if the viewer was a contestant who has just won a trip to New York. Jacob has edited the image he photographed from his television screen, leaving only the iconic wheel and light colored field below. The group discussed the relatively hard-edged and slick mark making used in this painting and compared it to the small preliminary painting that informed the larger final work. The idea of making a drawing of the wheel was discussed as well as a return to using inks to encourage the mark making exhibited in the observed pencil drawings.
When asked how he would formally exhibit his different modes of working, he answered that he would show the different works together, drawings alongside the paintings.